Rise Above - Week22 - TEEN SUICIDE - (12-20-11)





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Published on Dec 21, 2011


How real is the problem of youth suicide? Here are the numbers:
- EVERY YEAR there are approximately 10 youth suicides for every 100,000 youth.
- EVERY DAY there are approximately 11 youth suicides.
- EVERY 2 HOURS AND 11 MINUTES a person under the age of 25 completes suicide

How pervasive is the problem of youth suicide? Here's a brief review of what national data tells us:
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death for teens, behind accidents and homicide.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death in colleges.
- For every suicide completion, there are between 50 and 200 attempts.
- CDC Youth Risk Survey: 8.5% of students in grades 9-12 reported a suicide attempt in the past year.
- The suicide attempt rate is increasing for youths ages 10-14.
- A recent survey of high-school students found that almost 1 in 5 had seriously considered suicide; more than 1 in 6 had made plans to attempt suicide; and more than 1 in 12 had made a suicide attempt in the past year.

This week we tackled the issue of teen suicide. There are a few reasons why I felt it necessary to teach along these lines... #1 because bullying leads to teen suicide more often than we want to believe. #2 because my daughter Lauren struggled with this issue, and #3 because I see so many teens who come to Rise Above each week hurting inside, hurting themselves, and reaching out for help. This is not just an anti-bullying group anymore, it is a place where people go to seek HELP and it is a place where they should find it. Our group has the potential to make a REAL DIFFERENCE in someone's life. Why?
Because we care...
Because we can bind together to make each other stronger...
Because we have the group power to make someone feel like they BELONG...
Because we can encourage each other...
Because we can befriend those in need...
Because as we grow stronger, we have the strength to stand up when others are at their weakest!

We have heard of many teen suicides in the news since our group began. Several of our Rise Above members have been in the hospital for suicide attempts and depression. This is not something to take lightly! When someone is hurting enough to think that death is their only out, we have a responsibility to take the issue seriously and to do our best to help. It is time for our mission to go beyond improving ourselves. Our mission needs to expand to include reaching those who are hurting and in need of a friend.

According to statistics, almost 1,700 kids have died since we started Rise Above due to suicide. On average there are 100 attempts for every successful completion. This means almost 17,000 kids have attempted suicide since we began. This has got to stop! We cannot sit by and watch kids die because we are too afraid to step out of our comfort zone or because we "don't want to get involved".

It's not hard to reach out to these people, they are all around us. Every one of us can make a new friend if we try. Yet we go about our days, ignoring the hurt around us, unconcerned with the pain someone else may be experiencing, and only taking time to worry about our own problems.

What if I told you I was going to commit suicide tomorrow? How many of you would reach out and try to help me? How many of you would blow up my phone and my FB page telling me how special I am and how much I am loved? Yet we waste our time belittling and hating each other for petty differences when we have no guarantee that the person we are fighting with may be fighting their last battle today.

Life is precious and it is SHORT. We need to make the most of each day and do our best to be a friend to someone in need EACH DAY before it's too late. I cannot be there in your schools to help these hurting kids, but YOU CAN. Bring them in to our group, talk to them, get to know them instead of judging them. YOU could be the one who saves a life.


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